Trainer Tony McEvoy will attempt to win a third Aurie’s Star Handicap in seven years on Saturday at Flemington.
McEvoy, who prepared Shiraz and stable star Hey Doc to win the feature previously, expects Game Keeper to be up for the Group 3 sprint despite a bold long-term plan to run in the Caulfield Cup.
“I’ve had a good record in this race, won the race before and love kicking horses off in it,” McEvoy said.
“He’ll be a bit vulnerable at 1200m but you need a 1400m horse to win a 1200m down the straight and he’s all that and more,” McEvoy said.
Kayo is your ticket to the best sport streaming Live & On-Demand. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
Game Keeper has won his past four races, including the Listed Adelaide Guineas at Morphettville and decent three year-old handicap at Flemington.
He was tipped out after the Flemington win with a view to the spring.
Game Keeper spent about five weeks at McEvoy’s picturesque Kildalton Farm in South Australia to “sweeten him up” for the carnival.
“I gave him (that freshen up) to give him a chance to be there for the spring,” McEvoy said.
“He could run in a Caulfield Cup for us.
Game Keeper could be a potential Caulfield Cup horse. Picture: Atkins PhotographySource:Supplied
“(Jockey) Damien (Oliver) got off him at Flemington that day, carried 62kg first time at 2000m, and said the further the better.
“He‘ll (Game Keeper) love the mile-and-a-half (2400m), so we’ll see, it’s a big call but he’s the sort of horse that could progress to that.”
Trainer Tony McEvoy has recently celebrated the 10-year anniversary of his business.Source:News Corp Australia
Game Keeper oozed raw talent early on but “lost his way” after running last in the Blue Diamond.
“I ran him in the Blue Diamond this fellow, that’s what I thought of him, and he got very colty on us and didn’t fire … so we gelded him and turned him out,” McEvoy said.
“The talent was always there … he just lost his way and now looks to be right on track.”
Game Keeper is likely to come up against seasoned gallopers, including So Si Bon, chasing back-to-back Aurie’s Stars, and Lindsey Smith’s sprinter-miler Reykjavik and Great Again.
Star jockey Damian Lane has the ride on Game Keeper with Oliver booked on Godolphin sprinter Home Of The Brave.
‘SHE’S MACHINE’: BROOKLYN HUSTLES BACK IN STYLE
GAI WATERHOUSE: WHY SHE’S RE-ENERGISED FOR SPRING
NO DOUBT ABOUT COLT’S SPRING POTENTIAL
BOWMAN DETRACTORS MUST LOOK AT FACTS
McEvoy confirmed Hey Doc was in back in work now after foot abscess stalled preparations, while beaten favourite Hypersonic is likely to step out at Sandown on Wednesday week.
Hypersonic over-raced fiercely and punctured at the Valley last Saturday.
“He seems fine, just a train wreck (of a race),” McEvoy said.
“He took off on Damien (Oliver) … they were going far too hard … he chopped his wind off while pulling and when they don’t use their oxygen they can’t perform and he just emptied right out.
“I’ve just put a line through it, he’s a very good horse.”
ALL FOUR CODES TO RACE ON
All Victorian racing has the green light to continue during stage 4 restrictions.
The state government decision comes as a major boost for Racing Victoria leading into the spring carnival.
Harness Racing Victoria abandoned its nine-race card at Maryborough on Monday as a precaution, after being alerted to a driver potentially coming into contact with a known COVID-19 positive.
The reinsman last drove on Saturday at Bendigo.
The Shepparton harness meeting on Tuesday night is expected to go ahead.
Greyhound Racing Victoria must scale back attendance at race tracks to essential persons only — locking out owners and media, bar the official broadcaster — as an extra precaution.
Rigid guidelines and segregation of participants has, to date, protected the codes.
Racing Victoria has overseen 190 race meetings since mid-March and more than 1600 races without a single case of COVID-19.
“We don’t take the right to continue racing during these unprecedented times lightly,” RV chief executive Giles Thompson said.
“With immediate effect all owners are banned from attending race meetings in Victoria until otherwise advised, with a return to essential staff and active participants only.”
Originally published asGame on! McEvoy’s spring goal for budding star
Source: Read Full Article